Paul Maurice Comments on Matthew Tkachuk's Game 5 Performance

Marvin Azrak
June 20, 2024  (3:54 PM)

Paul Maurice, Florida Panthers
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk made a desperate play in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, racing from mid-ice to knock the puck away from an empty net.

While his effort kept the Panthers' hopes alive momentarily, Connor McDavid quickly reclaimed the puck and scored, sealing the Edmonton Oilers' 5-3 win and forcing the series back to Edmonton for Game 6 on Friday at Rogers Place.
Despite the outcome, Tkachuk's hustle didn't go unnoticed. Panthers head coach Paul Maurice mentioned that the play was on loop in the locker room during their video session. They even had some fun with it, joking about Tkachuk being beaten in a foot race.
"I watched it a hundred times. It's on loop in the room."

Paul Maurice talks about Matthew Tkachuk's hustle at the end of Game 5 to prevent Zach Hyman's empty net goal.
Maurice also talked about the team's mindset following two straight losses. He said they' feel more comfortable up 3-2 than 3-0 because most series are like that and added they're less anxious heading into Game 6 compared to Game 4.
It's calmer now than it was 3-4 days ago. It's just the experience as a piece of life that's not like anything else. I loved our Game 5 5V5 play. I thought we showed some maturity and growth in that. Whatever your best day is that you look forward too, there's probably a lot of energy involved in that. It is for us in our line of work, this is our big time. Learning how get comfortable with it and focus it, is a really important life skill.
Meanwhile,Tkachuk has been a standout in the playoffs, averaging a point per game. In Game 5, he tallied a goal and an assist, in his efforts to live up to his victory guarantee. Throughout the postseason, he has six goals, 16 assists, 81 shots on goal, 64 hits, 27 penalty minutes, and a plus-3 rating.